This is the second Mazda that I purchased as a new model. The first was a 626 that I put 235,000 miles on before I sold it to a neighbor. It still had the original clutch, and pretty much ran the same as it did the day that I drove it off the lot. I had a long commute for work at the time, so I simply wanted a newer vehicle with less miles. The Mazda 3 five-door hatchback I now own is a dream. The son of a close friend of mine went out and purchased a Mazda 3 after just ONE ride in my car. My current Mazda 3 Hatchback just turned eleven years old and runs like new. I intend to keep it forever.
This car started out as my wife's for the first 75 K miles, I then inherited it for my job in which I put on about 4 thousand miles per month. I have a new Ram 1500 hemi - which is awesome but does not compare in the mileage department !! Ok - so I have owned numerous 5.0 Mustangs, 3 mid-nineties Z28 Camaro's, and a 2001 Corvette. Initially this was a psychological downgrade - but after a few months and a few upgrades such as Bilstein's X 4, ZR rated tires in the summer, and Michelin winter tires in the winter - I have been extremely satisfied with this little sucker. I'm now at 128 K for mileage and no real issues. Ok - so the engine light is on for the famous gas cap vacuum leak - so I just let it be like that for now. I've changed the tranny oil out for Amsoil and do regular synthetic oil changes at 10 thousand miles like clockwork. I did notice that somewhere between 4500 and 5000 miles - it sucks back just over a half a liter of oil. I top it off and its good until I do the change. I have also tried about 5 different brands of oil and it does it with all of them. The engine sounds great still, no unusual engine noise whatsoever. It has really decent power for a 4-cyl and the economy is also decent. I do not baby this car in any way and it just keeps on pluggin away. I get about 33 mpg on the hwy and 27 in town - so averages about 30 mpg. I have to say this car handles like its on rails with my upgrades and is actually fun to drive. I'm thinking about what I will buy next, but have decided I'm just going to see how long this little guy lasts. I swear I'll drive it to 300 k if it makes it. This thing still feels tight with not rattles or weird noises, despite being on rough gravel roads often enough. Things that I feel could have been improved on from factory involve the paint (seems a little thin and easy to chip), seats aren't super comfortable - but I do spend 4 or 5 hrs in it a day more often than not. The tires do wear prematurely on the inside due to the camber, which is something that requires monitoring and prompt tire rotation. The engine has more than enough power for routine daily use in town or on the big road. The transmission shifts nice and seem to remain nice and tight even will into the 100,000 mile mark. I have had no issues with any other components. I just wish my wife would have bought a black one (instead of purple) - lol. Keep up the good work Mazda and i'll honestly consider another 3 when the time comes !!!